The Price of Civilization – Economics and Ethics After the Fall

The Price of Civilization – Economics and Ethics After the Fall Jeffrey Sachs, Random House, 2011   Sachs says, “Much of this book is about the social responsibility of the rich” and about society’s shared values and the need to plan ahead to achieve common goals. The book is also a diagnosis of the failure of the American economy to achieve society’s common goals since the 1970’s and makes recommendations

Winner Take All, China’s Race for Resources

Winner Take All, China’s Race for Resources and What It Means for the Rest of the World Dambisa Moyo, Harper Collins, 2002 This book is about supply and demand. Commodities, specifically arable land, water, energy and minerals are in demand as the global population grows and gets wealthier. More people living in cities and with middle class expectations means increased demand for goods and services – everywhere. One of these

How the West Was Lost, Fifty Years of Economic Folly – And the Stark Choices Ahead

How the West Was Lost, Fifty Years of Economic Folly – And the Stark Choices Ahead; Dambisa Moyo   “once an idea is out it can be used and improved upon by anyone, anywhere, an idea has a marginal cost of zero”   This quote is referring to the spinoffs from the magnificent technology that enabled the Apollo moon landing in July 1969. I was a vagabond watching it on

Shock of Gray

Shock of Gray, Ted C. Fishman, Scribner, 2010 Reviewed by Graham Mulligan   The subtitle to this book describes the broad themes as: ‘The aging of the world’s population and how it pits young against old, child against parent, worker against boss, company against rival, and nation against nation”. The world’s population is getting older and as it does it is bringing new challenges for all societies. Fishman warns, “the

Endgame

Endgame; The End of the Debt Supercycle and How it Changes Everything John Mauldin and Jonathan Tepper   Reviewed by Graham Mulligan   In the introductory essay the authors sum up the problem, quoting Wimpie from the Popeye cartoon, “I will gladly repay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” and Jean Mannet, “People only accept change in necessity and see necessity only in crisis”. The debt supercycle started more than

Dead Aid

Dead Aid; Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is A Better Way For Africa, Dambisa Moyo, 2009 Africa is going through an economic revival based on the surge in commodity prices and a more open attitude to market-based growth accompanied by more predictable (stable) political environments. Yet, Africa still seems dysfunctional, not quite getting its foot on the economic ladder. Moyo sees aid as the reason, not the

Country Driving

Country Driving, A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory, Peter Hessler, Harper Collins, 2010   Reviewed by Graham Mulligan   This is a book inspired by solitude and yearning. After leaving the Peace Corps (Rivertown) and moving to Beijing as a journalist (New Yorker and National Geographic) the author gets his Chinese driver’s license and starts a road-trip. The route is defined by its proximity to an icon of

China 2.0

China 2.0   Reviewed by Graham Mulligan   Marina Yue Zhang with Bruce Stemming, Wiley, 2010   The opening chapter builds on the metaphor of ‘Internet 2.0’ as a way of understanding the new China. Just as Internet 1.0 was ‘read only’ and shifted to ‘interactive and participatory’ as Internet 2.0, so China has gone from one phase to something much more interactive. The authors develop the argument that Western